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Results: 1 - 15 of 104
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, the burden of the inflated cost of living is felt especially by Canadians living in rural communities such as mine. In northern Alberta, one has to heat one's home and fill up one's gas tank to travel for work, school, groceries and medical appointments. As the Liberals increase taxes to pay for their reckless spending, they are leaving so many rural Canadians in the dark as they struggle to make ends meet.
Will the government cancel its planned tax increases on paycheques, gas, home heating and groceries?
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, while I appreciate some of the comments made and the flexibility of sometimes being able to bring my infant into this chamber due to the long hours we work and some of the struggles we have as parliamentarians, the fact that this is being rammed through in the last couple of days of the parliamentary session without any real opportunity for debate is abhorrent. It is not okay.
If the members opposite truly want to fix things, let us actually have some conversation. Let us not just band-aid this across. Let us have some serious conversations in September so we can fix the problem rather than just create more band-aids, because that is all this solution does.
Every other parliamentary system in Canada has already gone back to meeting in person. There are so many wins that can be had by having these conversations all over. I really think that what we are doing right now is hurting democracy, because we have not had adequate debate. While there are some very good arguments, we have not been able to have the time to actually study this and make sure we are doing the best thing for Canadians.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I appreciate the government defending its use of something that Liberals previously said was an absolute affront to democracy: time allocation. It is incumbent upon us to talk about the fact that the bill has been debated for three hours and 20-odd minutes. This is not a bill that has been “filibustered”; this is a bill that has barely received scrutiny. There are valid questions that have been raised.
I believe that it is really important to point out right now, especially for the record, that the concerns that are being heard in my riding of Fort McMurray—Cold Lake and many ridings across the prairies are very different from the concerns that are being heard elsewhere. I think that this government would be very well suited not to move time allocation on this and instead hear directly from these witnesses. I would urge the minister to come to the prairies. He can come to my riding and talk to people who have serious concerns about the bill and what it would mean for their day-to-day living. Will he come to my riding to talk to the gun owners?
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I would request a recorded division.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring to the attention of the chamber that I do not believe we have quorum here in this place and online. While it is not quite 6:30, we are in fact required to have more than 20 members in this chamber, and at my count we do not.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, Canadians are being told to go in person to a passport office if they have to travel within 45 days. Tia took time off work and made a five-hour drive to get to Service Canada’s passport office in Edmonton. She lined up at 4:30 in the morning with proof of imminent travel, but was triaged out of the line because she was not deemed urgent enough. In total, after 10 hours of driving, a hotel bill and time off work, she had no passport.
Folks living in my riding and in rural areas across Canada cannot just whip into a passport office on a whim. When will the minister fix this passport chaos?
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I want to bring to the attention of the chamber the lack of quorum in this place. I understand a motion was passed on this, but it is really sad that we are discussing such an important piece of legislation and there is no quorum.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I would like you to check online again, as I believe we continue to have an issue when it comes to quorum, and also confirm whether someone having their camera on but not being visible in the shot actually constitutes quorum. I believe that has already been ruled on.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I want to thank my hon. colleague for his speech despite my point of order. It had nothing to do with the content of his speech. It was more about the process in the chamber.
My question is specifically around how the bill was sped through committee with the amendments. I sat late into the night last week as we were voting on amendment after amendment with no discussion and not even reading which amendment we were voting on. Does the member believe that is an appropriate way to govern business and discuss the legislation before us?
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Perth—Wellington.
As members have heard through our debates over the last few weeks, Bill C-11 will set the stage for the federal government to have unfettered control in regulating what Canadians see on the Internet.
This expansion of the regulatory authority of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, better known as the CRTC, to all audiovisual content on the Internet is a radical and sweeping move that really raises concerns around accountability, government overreach and the protection of individual rights and freedoms in this country.
I want to be clear: Bill C-11 is a bill that would give the CRTC the power to control what Canadians find and post on the Internet. It is a fundamental change in the way we do broadcasting in Canada or what is considered broadcasting. The very idea that the government intends to introduce licencing of the Internet in the same way that radio and television are licenced in Canada ultimately means that creators must obtain speech by permission from the government.
From the very beginning, Conservatives have been opposing the ideological agenda of this inflexible and regressive legislation. We have now and always will stand up for our arts and culture sectors, and now especially it is important for us to make sure that we are standing up for our digital-first creators, who are facing a lot of uncertainty about their livelihoods.
Many of these witnesses were not able to heard from in committee because of an arbitrary timeline that was set by the government. This is not just targeting so-called digital giants such as legacy news media, Google or Facebook. In 2022, anyone with a cell phone can be a creator and have an audience on the World Wide Web.
While the heritage minister has misleadingly claimed that Bill C-11 is about creators and about making more Canadian content available, and that it would actually even the playing field, what we have discovered in committee is that this is not true. If Canadians want to watch our world-class Canadian content, there is absolutely nothing stopping them, so there is no need for specific content to be spoon fed to us. If passed, Bill C-11 would not create an even playing field for our Canadian content creators. Instead, it would allow a government body to close off certain creators for the benefit of a select few, essentially hand-picking winners and losers. That is something that, on this side of the House, we disagree with.
In its current form, Bill C-11 does not protect individual online content creators. Instead, it burdens them with an abundance of draconian rules and regulations that they are ill-equipped and underfinanced to engage with. The regulations are through the roof.
While the NDP-Liberal government claims that there is now an exemption for user-generated content, this bill gives the CRTC the power to regulate any content that generates revenue, directly or indirectly. That means that non-commercial, user-generated content, like picking up a cell phone and creating a video, could create indirect revenue, which would then fall under the purview of the CRTC.
Artists, independent content creators and experts alike have all been raising alarm bells about the impact of these changes. I think it is really important to read some of the testimony that we heard at the heritage committee, such as what we heard from Oorbee Roy. She said:
Not only does this bill not help me. It also hurts me and actively undermines my needs as an artist. There's no language in the bill to tell me otherwise.
Frankly, I don't qualify. I'm just not the right fit....
I literally have never gotten a seat at the table—except now, as a digital creator, I'm getting a seat at the table. Representation matters.... Please don't suppress my voice.
I read this into the record because I think it is very important to make sure we understand that this digital space is still fairly new, so trying to over-regulate it, which is exactly what Bill C-11 does, could have long-lasting impacts.
It is important to highlight the fact that it expands the role of the CRTC to allow it to impose new regulations on platforms such as TikTok, Facebook and YouTube, and whatever new platform has not even been created yet. These changes do not have to be passed through Parliament. These regulations will impact all Canadians who use online content, but there is no power for us, as parliamentarians, to make decisions on this. It leaves questions as to what is going on.
I think the best way to continue to showcase the amazing contributions of Canadian creators is to safeguard the protection of their freedom of expression. We have to enshrine the right of a Canadian to express their opinions, create content and speak freely so our rich Canadian culture is accessible to all. Frankly, without this in place, I have no trouble finding Canadian content on the World Wide Web, and I think that is something that is really important. We have an amazing set of artists who get out there.
One of the big pieces, after spending many hours in the heritage committee listening to amendments being debated, is that we failed to see any movement from the government on having a real conversation. We were voting on amendment after amendment, not even reading those amendments into the record. There was no idea of what we were debating most of the time, other than for those of us who had our package in front of us. Anyone who was following at home were completely out of luck. They did not even know what we were discussing. That is not the transparency that Canadians request from their parliamentarians. This is not the level of debate we should be having in the House.
I understand that members opposite will say that, “Oh, this is because the Conservatives were filibustering.” We were raising valid concerns that had been brought to our attention. There are tons of witnesses who want to present on this very important topic who have been silenced by the government, the NDP-Liberal coalition. There are people who want to make this the best possible legislation that it can be.
Quite frankly, I do not believe that we are at the best. I think that it is incumbent on each and every one of us parliamentarians to send the bill back to committee because, ultimately, we can do better, and we must do better. Just because something is difficult, just because we have an arbitrary timeline because the government really wants to get it passed by the summer, does not necessarily mean that is what we should do.
The Liberals dragged their feet on the previous iteration of the bill and let it die on the Order Paper when they called an unnecessary election last fall. The fact is that somehow this is now a priority for them, and they are trying to ram it through Parliament, rather than have a serious conversation and inviting digital-first creators to have some dialogue to make sure these changes we are making are actually going to benefit the sector and benefit Canadians. Ultimately, is it going to be something we will be proud of?
I am quite concerned that what we are doing is actually changing what Canadians will see online without any debate, completely behind closed doors, and it has been very clear from the expert testimony that the bill would allow the CRTC to regulate user-generated content. That is why, through a series of vital amendments, the Conservatives tried, we really did try to work with members opposite, to fix the bill.
I get it that the members opposite like to say, “The big bad Conservatives don't support artists, and they don't support creators.” That is not true. As someone who grew up dancing, singing and in a band, I understand that there are a lot of needs of artists. I understand very clearly that this is something that is so important, but we have to do it right. We have to do the right thing for the right reasons, otherwise it is not right, and this is not being done for the right reasons at the right time in the right space.
I would urge all members to simply take the bill back to committee to allow us to have some meaningful conversation and debate on these amendments. At a very minimum, could we read the amendments into the record, so all members and everyone who was listening at home could at least know what we are discussing prior to us doing it? Also, there were errors when it came to translation. They were fixing the fact that the translation in the original bill was incorrect. That is how rushed the bill was. Not even the translation was accurate. That is just another example as to why we need to slow this down and send the bill back to committee to ensure that we have an opportunity to provide Canadians, especially those who create user-generated content, with the best possible bill.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, it is awfully condescending of the member opposite. Despite the fact that there are many members in this chamber on his side, he constantly asks questions. He monopolizes the floor in here on so many occasions. For whatever reason, there are a number of members in here who are not allowed to speak. They are not allowed to ask questions, and so here we are. We are debating. We are trying to have a conversation here, and the member is concerned about trivial antics and trying to point fingers. I am here to try to make sure that Canadians have the best possible legislation, and that is exactly what Conservatives are going to fight for: the best possible legislation.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question. I think that 142 amendments were proposed for this bill. There may have been even more than that.
I do not remember the details of every single amendment, but I think it would have been worthwhile to debate them. However, we were simply told which amendment number would be voted on, starting at 9 p.m. That was not okay.
That is not how things should be done, and I want everyone to support the idea of sending this bill back to committee.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Madam Speaker, yes, there are many stakeholders who are in favour of seeing this bill pass, but there are at least as many, if not more, who are very concerned about the speed at which this piece of legislation is going through, the secrecy and the lack of accountability.
Honestly, we were debating amendments with no content until after midnight. Not even a phrase could be said about why we were voting on things. As I said earlier, there were amendments because the translations were wrong and there were amendments because the legislation was not drafted correctly to begin with, yet there was no context given as to what these amendments were. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to make sure we have the best legislation and to send this bill back to committee.
View Laila Goodridge Profile
CPC (AB)
Mr. Speaker, after more than two years, the pandemic is no longer an acceptable excuse for poor service. Canadians are being forced to line up for hours outside Service Canada centres in order to simply get a passport on time. Meanwhile, it has been reported that 70% of Service Canada employees are working from home.
When will the minister show leadership and bring these employees back to work?
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